Kentucky freshmen head All-America team

Having a couple of freshmen on The Associated Press' All-America team is nothing new. This year, however, they are from the same school.


Kentucky's John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins were on the All-America team announced Monday. Joining them were Ohio State junior Evan Turner, who received all but one first-team vote, Syracuse junior Wes Johnson and Villanova senior Scottie Reynolds.

In the age of one-and-done players, the All-America team has become a home for freshmen.

Kevin Durant, of Texas, and Greg Oden, of Ohio State, were on the 2007 team, while Michael Beasley, of Kansas State, and Kevin Love, of UCLA, were on it the next year.

After a year without any freshmen being honored, Wall and Cousins moved in as the ninth set of teammates to be selected and the first since Duke's J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams in 2006.

"This means a lot to both of us. I'm surprised and glad we both made it," said the 6-foot-4 Wall, who averaged 16.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 6.4 assists after arriving as one of the most highly touted high school recruits. "We had to learn a lot as freshmen and we were able to help our teammates along the way. This means a lot to both of us."

The 6-11 Cousins became one of the country's top big men and was the only player selected to the team who averaged a double-double with 15.3 points and 10.1 rebounds.

"It's important to me but it wasn't something I was expecting," Cousins said. "This means a lot because all we really did was try to come in and help our teammates."

They helped the Wildcats reach No. 1 for one week in a season they were no lower than fifth in any poll.

"The challenge of it is to get them to reach beyond where they've ever reached in their lives," first-year Kentucky coach John Calipari said.

"They're in the best shape conditioning-wise they've ever been in. They are playing for the team more than they've ever played for a team. Usually it's been about them. Yet they got to respect each other."

Turner, the 6-7 point guard considered one of the best all-around players in recent years, received all but one first-team vote from the 65-member national media panel that selects the weekly Top 25.

Wall received 62 votes, while Johnson had 45, Reynolds 32 and Cousins 26 in voting conducted before the NCAA Tournament.

Turner missed six games after breaking bones in his back when he fell after a dunk in December. The Buckeyes went .500 without him and then went on to the Big Ten title when he returned.

"It's really cool," said Turner, an honorable mention selection last year who thought about entering the draft as a sophomore. "I think I just grew mentally and the maturity of my game is really elevated. I think I've become a way better player."

James Anderson, of Oklahoma State, was sixth in the balloting was joined on the second team by Sherron Collins, of Kansas; Greivis Vasquez, of Maryland; Jon Scheyer, of Duke; and Da'Sean Butler, of West Virginia.

The third team was Greg Monroe, of Georgetown; Cole Aldrich, of Kansas; Damion James, of Texas; Luke Harangody, of Notre Dame; and Darington Hobson, of New Mexico.

Dynamic duos

Teammates who have been selected first team All-America in the same season by the Associated Press:

1948-49: Alex Beard and Ralph Groza, Kentucky

1973-74: Bill Walton and Keith Wilkes, UCLA

1975-76: Kent Benson and Scott May, Indiana

1983-84: Michael Jordan and Sam Perkins, North Carolina

1990-91: Stacey Augmon and Larry Johnson, UNLV

1997-98: Mike Bibby and Miles Simon, Arizona, and Raef LaFrentz and Paul Pierce, Kansas

2000-01: Shane Battier and Jason Williams, Duke

2005-06: J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams, Duke

2009-10: f-DeMarcus Cousins and f-John Wall, Kentucky




Sat, 11/18/2017 - 21:21

First buck taken